MEN. Pompey, a word.
Say in mine ear: What is't?
MEN. Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain,

And hear me speak a word 1.


Forbear me till anon.

This wine for Lepidus.

LEP. What manner o' thing is your crocodile ? ANT. It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

LEP. What colour is it of?
ANT. Of its own colour too.
LEP. 'Tis a strange serpent.
ANT. "Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
CES. Will this description satisfy him?
ANT. With the health that Pompey gives him,
else he is a very epicure.

POM. [TO MENAS aside.] Go, hang, sir, hang!
Tell me of that? away!

Do as I bid you.-Where's this cup I call'd for?
MEN. If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,
Rise from thy stool.

ramises, to mark the indistinct pronunciation of a man nearly intoxicated, whose tongue is now beginning to " split what it speaks." In other places he has introduced the Latin plural pyramides, which was constantly used by our ancient writers. So, in this play :

"My country's high pyramides-." Again, in Sir Aston Cockain's Poems, 1658:

"Neither advise I thee to pass the seas,
"To take a view of the pyramides."

Again, in Braithwaite's Survey of Histories, 1614: "Thou art now for building a second pyramides in the air." MALONE.

And hear me speak A WORD.] The two last words of this hemistich are, I believe, an interpolation. They add not to the sense, but disturb the measure. STEEVENS.

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I think, thou'rt mad. The matter? [Rises, and walks aside. MEN. I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes. POм. Thou hast serv'd me with much faith: What's else to say?

Be jolly, lords.

These quick-sands, Lepidus,

Keep off them, for you sink.

MEN. Wilt thou be lord of all the world?


What say'st thou ? MEN. Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That's twice.

POм. How should that be? MEN. But entertain it, and, Although thou think me poor, I am the man Will give thee all the world.

Ром. Hast thou drunk well? MEN. No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup. Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove : Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips, Is thine, if thou wilt have't.


Show me which way. MEN. These three world-sharers, these competitors,

Are in thy vessel: Let me cut the cable 5;


See vol. iv.

or sky INCLIPS,] i. e. embraces. STEEVENS. 4 - competitors,] i. e. confederates, partners. p. 61. STEEVENS.


Let me cut the cable;] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "Now in the middest of the feast, when they fell to be merie with Antonius loue vnto Cleopatra, Menas the pirate came to Pompey, and whispering in his eare, said unto him: shall I cut the gables of the ankers, and make thee Lord not only of Sicile and Sardinia, but of the whole empire of Rome besides ? Pompey hauing pawsed a while vpon it, at length aunswered him thou shouldest haue done it, and neuer have told it me, but now we must content vs with that we haue. As for my selfe, I was neuer taught to breake my faith, nor to be counted a traitor."




And, when we are put off, fall to their throats:
All there is thine".


Ah, this thou should'st have done, And not have spoke on't! In me, 'tis villainy ; In thee, it had been good service. Thou must know, 'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honour; Mine honour, it. Repent, that e'er thy tongue Hath so betray'd thine act: Being done unknown, I should have found it afterwards well done; But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.


MEN. For this, I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes' more.Who seeks, and will not take, when once 'tis offer'd, Shall never find it more 8.


This health to Lepidus. ANT. Bear him ashore.-I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.

ENO. Here's to thee, Menas.

Poм. Fill, till the cup be hid.

Enobarbus, welcome.

6 All THERE is thine.] Thus the old copy. Modern editors read:

"All then is thine."

If alteration be necessary, we might as well give: is thine." All there, however, may mean, all in the vessel.


"All theirs



- thy PALL'D fortunes-] Palled, is vapid, past its time of excellence; palled wine, is wine that has lost its original sprightliness. JOHNSON.

Palled is a word of which the etymology is unknown. Perhaps, says Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, it is only a corruption of paled, and was originally applied to colours. Thus, in Chaucer's Manciple's Prologue, v. 17,004:

"So unweldy was this sely palled ghost." STEEVens. 8 Who seeks, and will not take, when once 'tis offer'd, Shall never find it more.] This is from the ancient proverbial rhyme :

"He who will not, when he may,

"When he will, he shall have nay." STEEVENS.

ENO. There's a strong fellow, Menas. [Pointing to the Attendant who carries off LEPIDUS.




He bears

The third part of the world, man; Sees't not? MEN. The third part then is drunk: 'Would it were all9,

That it might go on wheels'!

ENO. Drink thou; increase the reels 2.

MEN. Come.

POM. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast. ANT. It ripens towards it.-Strike the vessels 3, ho! Here is to Cæsar.

9 The third part THEN IS drunk: 'Would it were all, &c.] The old copy reads-The third part then he is drunk, &c. The context clearly shows that the transcriber's ear deceived him, and that we should read as I have printed it,―The third part then is drunk. MALONE.

1 That it might go on wheels!] The World goes upon Wheels, is the title of a pamphlet written by Taylor the water-poet.



- INCREASE the REELS.] As the word-reel was not, in our author's time, employed to signify a dance or revel, and is used in no other part of his works as a substantive, it is not impossible that the passage before us, which seems designed as a continuation of the imagery suggested by Menas, originally stood thus:

"Drink thou, and grease the wheels.”

A phrase, somewhat similar, occurs in Timon of Athens: "with liquorish draughts, &c.

greases his pure mind,

"That from it all consideration slips."



Mr. Steevens (as Mr. Douce has observed) is mistaken in supposing that reel did not signify a dance in our author's time. BOSWELL.


Strike the vessels,] Try whether the casks sound as empty. JOHNSON.

I believe, "strike the vessels " means no more than "chink the

I could well forbear it.

It's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain,
And it grows fouler.


Be a child o' the time. CES. Possess it, I'll make answer: but I had rather fast

From all, four days, than drink so much in one.
ENO. Ha, my brave emperor ! [TO ANTONY.
Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals,
And celebrate our drink?

POM. Let's ha't, good soldier. ANT. Come, let us all take hands ", Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense In soft and delicate Lethe.

ENO. All take hands.Make battery to our ears with the loud musick :


vessels one against the other, as a mark of our unanimity in drinking," as we now say, chink glasses. STEEVEns.

Mr. Steevens is surely right. So, in one of Iago's songs : 66 And let me the cannikin clink." RITSON.

Vessels probably mean kettle-drums, which were beaten when the health of a person of eminence was drank; immediately after we have," make battery to our ears with the loud musick." They are called kettles in Hamlet:

"Give me the cups;

"And let the kettle to the trumpet speak."

Dr. Johnson's explanation degrades this feast of the lords of the whole world into a rustick revel. HOLT WHITE.


I'll MAKE answer:] the metre. STEEVENS.

In the last scene of Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas, we meet with a passage which leaves no doubt, as Mr. Weber has observed, that to strike the vessels means to tap them :


Home Launce, and strike a fresh piece of wine, the town's ours." BOSWELL.

The word-make, only serves to clog

5 Come, let us all take hands;] As half a line in this place may have been omitted, the deficiency might be supplied with words resembling those in Milton's Comus:

"Come let us all take hands, and beat the ground,
66 Till," &c. STEEVENS.

6 Make BATTERY TO OUR EARS -] So, in King John: Our ears are cudgel'd." STEEVENs.


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